June 19, 2017

How to use messaging apps in your marketing strategy

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Published: 19 June 2017 

Messaging apps are continuing to rise in popularity. In fact, almost 3 billion people already use messenger apps, which is more than the amount of social network users. So it makes sense that they are making their way into more and more marketing strategies. After all, it’s a great way to market your brand towards the younger generations who are using messaging apps. So what messaging apps are people using, and how can you make them a part of your business’ marketing strategy?

Popular messaging apps

Looking at monthly active users quickly tells you which messaging apps are the most popular.

Source: GetApp Lab

It’s clear to see WhatsApp is the most popular, closely followed by Facebook Messenger. However, this differs when you break the data down by geographical location. Facebook Messenger is the most popular in areas such as the UK and US. WhatsApp is most popular in Germany, while China uses WeChat and Japan prefers LINE. This is something to consider if you have an international business and are considering using messaging apps as a part of your strategy.

Source: Contently

What to use messaging apps for

Once you have decided which messaging app is best suited for your brand, you need to plan what you’ll be using the app for.

Some ways you can use messaging apps to benefit your brand include:

Chatbots

You can create a chatbot to make it easier for customers to communicate with your brand. Chatbots are automated systems which are created to respond to customers without the need for human assistance. Facebook Messenger already has 30,000 active chatbots, but they are also available within other messaging apps. They can be used for a range of purposes, including shopping, delivering news, weather forecasts or even personal assistants.

Fortunately for businesses, chatbots are relatively easy to create. You may want to hire a developer who will understand all of the technicalities involved and ensure your chatbot runs as smoothly as possible. Otherwise, there are numerous tools available to help create your chatbot, including Mobile MonkeyOnSequel, Chatfuel and Bostify.  

Customer service

This is a particularly important point if you’ve got a business with customers who live in different time zones. It’s difficult to have a quick response to someone who is online while you’re asleep. Fortunately, you can use chatbots within messaging apps to resolve this problem. Chatbots are able to identify phrases and hold personalised conversations with customers. This means customers can communicate directly with a chatbot, rather than having to wait to speak to someone who works for the business. This can dramatically improve a business' customer service, and also help to increase conversions.

Marketing

Source: Adweek

You want to get your brand noticed by as many people as possible, so why not advertise on the platforms that people are using? Messaging apps are a good choice for advertising because of their popularity and frequency of use. Advertising through messaging apps allows businesses to get creative while directly communicating to their target audience. For example, the Danish branch of the World Wildlife Fund used Snapchat to send 10-second snaps to its audience to raise awareness of endangered species. It paired the snaps with the hashtag #LastSelfie. Within three days of the campaign, the company was able to meet its fundraising goal. This shows how effective a campaign using messaging apps can be if implemented correctly.

E-commerce  

E-commerce brands can use messaging apps to sell their products. China’s WeChat already allows businesses to manage their stock and upload items through the app. Meanwhile, LINE users can pay for items through the app using the LINE Pay services. Gartner found one particular Japanese e-commerce store experienced a 30 to 50 percent increase in revenue as a result of the promotion through LINE.

Hosting competitions and games

You don’t have to just use messaging apps for business, direct talking or e-commerce. You can also have a bit of fun with them. Messaging apps can be used to host a competition and play games too. Back in 2014, WeChat allowed its Chinese users to send virtual red envelopes to each other. In 2014, two million people partook, and by 2015 that number had skyrocketed to eight billion.

Companies are becoming more creative and making games too. Chocolate company Klik created a game Klik Says, which is its own spin-off of Simon Says. Users received commands from Klik and were able to send back photos. TechChrunch found 91 percent of the more than 2000 people who downloaded the app completed the game. The game, which was promoted through Facebook, also increased Klik’s engagement on the social media platform.     

With messaging apps continuing to increase in popularity, now is the time for businesses to take the opportunity to expand and introduce a new element to their marketing strategy.

Ben Maden

Read more posts by Ben

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